Employees at Abbott’s
From The New TOPS Magazine, date unknown, approximately May of 1961, by Recil Bordner: “This year, the Magician’s Get-Together will be held here in COLON for the first time in nine years. The dates are August 24th, 25th, and 26th, and it will be held in the new High School Auditorium. The visiting Magicians will be housed, for the most part, in the homes of citizens of Colon. The rooms are to be made available through the Colon Junior Chamber of Commerce. The reason for this early announcement is to make it possible for you to plan your vacation. Anyone wanting to rent a cottage for that week should write to me soon, as these cottages on the lake are reserved many months in advance. WATCH NEXT MONTHS TOPS FOR MORE DETAILS!
Last month I wrote about some of the people who have worked here at the Magic Factory. I had mentioned only the earliest ones, so to those of you who wrote that I had left out Si Stebbins, Gus Rapp, Walter Gydesen, Father Mattox, Frank and Hazel Galliger, Bill Bright, Ted Ward, and Duke Stern, I want to say that I did not forget them but just did not have the space for everyone. In time I expect to introduce you to all our Magic Family, right down to our latest member, “Pete” Bouton who is in the wood and illusion department of our workshop.
To continue with those now with us, in somewhat the order I which they started, there is Ray Fillmore; yes, his great, great, uncle was the thirteenth President of the United States. Ray is in charge of the plastic department, where he started in September, 1939. He makes the plastic miracle glasses, pitchers, bowls, and all the other intricate plastic fakes. He mixes, compounds, and packages the wax, ink tablets, beer powder, roughing fluid, oil of milk, etc., listed in the accessory classification of our catalog. He is the one who makes the trick glasses – the ones of real glass with the bottoms out or with the slits so neatly concealed in the sides. Then in his spare time, he converts watches into rising card mechanisms and spring motors into Simplified Snake Tricks. As far as I know, America’s oldest living Magician is “Gus” Rapp – ninety years old on January 29, 1961. Gus worked here several years in the late ‘40’s and early ‘50’s. He made over fifty different types of card, money, and paper tricks, and wrote a couple of books. Besides tricks he worked with paper–mâché, making “Punch and Judy” puppets and the heads for Ventriloquial figures.” Gus Rapp died on July 30, 1961. He appeared at the Abbott’s Get-Together in 1949 and 1955.